Elizabeth Fingelton (& Kate Cronin)

What is your own background/ethnic heritage?
I’m as Irish as they get! I studied business in university and qualified as an accountant before I met my business partner Kate and went into business with her to form Klickity.

How long have you been with the company, and what is your position there?
I am co-founder and business development manager of Klickity. So I’ve been here since the beginning 2.5 years ago.

What are the challenges of the profession?
It’s obviously challenging working for yourself and trying to build a design brand from scratch. You constantly put yourself under pressure to grow your business and develop new and exciting products so I suppose the downside is you can never really switch off.

What are the rewards?
There is a great freedom of working for yourself, you have no one to answer to but yourself. It’s also fantastic to see one of our designs in a well known magazine or retail outlet, that’s gives me a great sense of satisfaction!

What is the company’s core mandate?
At Klickity we strive to consider exciting new design ideas, the environment and you;
design innovative and unique products and create affordable products manufactured in Ireland.

What are your key products?
Our self assembly lampshades are what got us noticed in the first place so I would have to say they are our key products. The Allium and Fig lampshades represent our core design philosophy- to balance creativity, innovation and sustainability. Our Klip notice-board is our biggest seller as it makes a great unusual gift and is a real pick up item.

What is your marketplace?
We aim our products at the design conscious consumer who are looking for great quality and value for money. Our designs are popular at home in Ireland but also further afield in countries such as the UK, Australia and The Netherlands.

How do you differ from your competition?
Our carefully designed products are completely unique. We consider the environment during the design process and take into consideration the whole life cycle of the product. Our bright colours and innovative self assembly techniques make us stand out from the competition.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Irish economy?
Well we started this business in a recession so to us we don’t know any different! However last month has seen the best retail sales of the last 5 years in Ireland which I think is something we can all be grateful for. I think consumers are still being cautious but very slowly I think we are heading in the right direction to get our economy back on track.

Are we doing enough to preserve & promote Celtic culture generally?
Speaking from a personal point of view I think there is an exciting new wave of talented Irish designers making their mark at the moment – this group of enthusiastic, driven young people are making Ireland a more interesting place by organizing and taking part in exhibitions, flea markets and pop up shops. Organizations like the Crafts Council and Enterprise Ireland are doing their best to promote these new Irish companies at home and abroad. Also initiatives like The Gathering will bring people to Ireland to take part in cultural events and hopefully they will return home with a renewed sense of Irish culture and spirit. But of course there is always more we can do to promote our culture.

What can we be doing better?
I think it’s important for the Irish Diaspora to support Irish businesses. The Irish Diaspora is a fantastic resource and one which we should be reaching out to. We need to appeal to them, to tell our story and share our ideas so they can see what a culturally vibrant and innovative country we are.

What’s next on the company agenda?
We plan to focus on our core skills for the coming year, and that means refining our product range and making Klickity a more robust sustainable business. Export markets are becoming increasingly important to us and this will be a priority for 2013.